Increase in disease incidence, mostly in urban areas, due to irregular lifestyle
Every practising nephrologist sees four to five new cases in the city
Chronic kidney disease cases with bad prognosis is almost 80 per cent
Acute kidney disease has gone down by almost 20 per cent
|Serious lifestyle changes and periodic check-ups suggested for diabetes and hypertension patients to avoid kidney diseases
Mukesh Gupta now regrets for not attending to his high blood-sugar level for the past 10 years. He is undergoing dialysis after being diagnosed with chronic renal failure.
City doctors are worried over the sharp rise in the number of patients with kidney complications, which they attribute to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The trend has triggered launching of nephrology units in several private hospitals.
'Uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension are the main factors for chronic renal failure,' said Goutam Majumdar, senior consultant at the newly-set up nephrology unit at Sri Aurobindo Seva Kendra (EEDF).
The hospital has recently opened the 10-bed unit. According to him, there has been a 10 per cent increase over the decade in the number of patients suffering from chronic renal failure.
'Smoking habits and the tendency to consume painkillers are also major contributors to kidney diseases,' said Arindam Chowdhury, medical superintendent of the unit.
Doctors perceive a paradigm shift in the cause of kidney diseases over the past few years. 'Earlier, only infectious diseases caused renal complications, but now, lifestyle diseases are more to be blamed,' said Rupali Basu, general manager, Wockhardt Hospital and Kidney Institute.
She added that in the past three years, there has been a 50 per cent rise in number of patients admitted to the hospital with kidney malfunction. 'However, the stay in the hospital has been reduced from seven to five days,' she said.
Wockhardt has launched a number of awareness campaigns in schools and among senior citizens to encourage people to come for regular check-ups.
According to Arup Ratan Dutta, chief nephrologist at Wockhardt, several organs of the body get affected if high blood-sugar level persists for a few years. 'More than 30 per cent of the patients on dialysis are diabetic and the number is increasing fast.'
Dutta attributes the rise in cases of kidney complications in the city to two principal reasons. First, the average longevity of a person has increased. Advances in medical science have lengthened the lifespan of patients suffering from hypertension and diabetes. 'They are living long enough to develop complications like chronic renal failure,' he pointed out.
Second, people are now much more aware about the importance of healthcare and hence, coming to doctors in larger numbers, resulting in the disease being diagnosed in greater frequency.
To cope up with the problem, AMRI Hospitals is planning to set up a nephrology and urology institute. 'Apart from treating patients, it will conduct academic activities too,' said S.B. Purkayastha, president of the hospital. The institute, which will function as an autonomous unit, will be operational from the second week of May.
Timely measures to control diabetes, blood pressure and obesity significantly bring down the risk of renal failure. 'But as diabetes is an asymptomatic disease, early detection is difficult. So, regular check-up is a must,' said Arup Ratan Dutta.